Do you act in a way that’s governed by other people’s opinions?
Do you continually stay in your comfort zone for fear of failure?
Do you fear making mistakes and cover them up before anyone finds out?
Do you feel you need constant recognition for your successes to feel validated?
Or do you simply find it hard to accept compliments?
Self-confidence is something we all want but for a huge number of us, it can be a struggle in our day-to-day lives.
If you say “yes” to any of the above questions, it means you still need to work on strengthening your self-confidence. And the key to overcoming low self-confidence is understanding what it is and ways we can combat it head on.
The Difference Between Self-Confidence And Self-Esteem
Many people can’t differentiate these two concepts. While they may seem similar, there are fundamental differences between self-confidence and self-esteem.
Self-confidence is about our ability to trust in ourselves and how we deal with challenges or difficult situations. Self-esteem is our cognitive and emotional assessment of ourselves that is connected with our worth.
Both of these don’t always go hand in hand. Someone with an abundance of self-confidence may have significant low self-esteem. A typical example of this would be a performer who can stand on stage to thousands of people but who destroys himself with alcohol and drugs behind closed doors.
The great thing about working on raising your self-confidence is that it’s much easier than working on your self-esteem. By boosting confidence first and foremost, you can then be better equipped to target any self-esteem issues.
Self-Confidence Level Determines How Successful You Are
Self-confidence is crucial when it comes to our learning and capabilities. Our confidence can affect our performance and relationships with others and is a much stronger indication of success than self-esteem.
And this is down to what we believe is true about ourselves. Our beliefs influence heavily what we think we are capable of. In other words, mindset is a big determinant in how much self-confidence we have.
If we believe we are no good at a task then our performance is lessened significantly. The influence our mind has on our abilities can be the difference between performing well or performing less than our actual capabilities. Fears are therefore fundamental to our level of confidence and transcends throughout different areas of our life.
How Can We Build Up Our Self-Confidence?
There are many ways we can build up our self-confidence so what are some good hacks we can apply to our day-to-day lives?
Fake It ‘Til You Make It
If you have low self-confidence then the advice of ‘being yourself’ can be detrimental. This is where faking confidence can really help you move forward with success. Paying attention to how you want to present yourself to others can give you clarity into striving to act in this way.
Sometimes it’s easier to change from the outside in – in other words, once we get used to acting in a confident way, it can become more familiar and we can start to see positive results.
Your Every Gesture Counts
Body language is an important way to convey confidence. When we have low self-confidence it can be apparent in the way we physically hold ourselves. Standing up tall and even doing power poses (think Superman) can change the way we think to that of confidence. Try it throughout the day and see the difference it makes. Talk more slowly – taking time to think about what you want to say – and making eye contact will give the impression of confidence.
Here’s a video that gives you more idea of how to act with confidence:
Dress For Confidence
Studies have shown that what you wear can have significant influence on how you feel and act. Dressing up in clothes that make you feel confident can change your attitude and outlook on a stressful situation.
Change Your Mindset
Mindset is extremely important when it comes to confidence. Confident people focus on more positive thoughts and outcomes than negative ones. Try to change your perspective and habit of thinking – focus on abundance rather than lack. Know that the outcome doesn’t necessarily reflect your abilities.
Celebrate Small Wins
People with low self-confidence have a tendency to put a lot of pressure on the bigger picture. The secret to building more confidence is to focus more on the small steps we take. Direct more significance to small wins and celebrate them as this will help you realise how far you’ve come. In essence, become your own cheerleader.
See How You Become A Better You
Taking up a new skill like learning a language can help you to build up confidence. Seeing improvements and keeping track of progress will instinctively build up how you see yourself in terms of ability. It can also help distract and calm the mind, blocking any worrying or overthinking that may arise from other areas of your life.
Recommended Reading Material
If books are your thing, then You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero is an excellent read to help you build your confidence and tackle your fears. It provides inspirational stories and easy exercises to follow all in a humorous and relatable fashion. It helps you to identify the behaviours and negative beliefs that are keeping you back from being the fully confident person you’re capable of being!
So, remember building confidence is really a combination of mindset and changing our detrimental behavioural patterns. But the key is knowing that low self-confidence can be overcome.
“Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered–just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.” – Barrie Davenport
|||^||Psychology Today: Self-Confidence Versus Self-Esteem|
|||^||Psychology Today: Confidence Matters Just as Much as Ability|
|||^||Inc.: Why ‘Fake It Till You Make It’ Is So Effective, According to Science|
|||^||Real Men Real Style: Weird Ways To BOOST Self-Confidence? | 10 Unusual Confidence Builders|
|||^||Daily Mail: You are what you DRESS: Clothing has a significant effect on self-esteem and confidence, claims expert|